3 of 5
The Animal-Rescue Team
The Animal-Rescue Team
Jim Karger near his home in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, with recently rescued Doña
Jim and Kelly Karger
San Miguel de Allende, Mexico

After 25 years as an attorney, having built the biggest labor-law firm in Texas, Jim Karger, 56, found that "my psychic bank account was fully depleted." His finances were in great shape, though, so in 2003 he and his wife, Kelly, 48, sold their house in Dallas and took off for the high desert of central Mexico to contemplate the future.

Karger found that he still wanted to advise corporate clients on certain kinds of labor issues, so he started a consulting firm called the San Miguel de Allende Leadership Institute (sanmiguelleadership.com). At the same time, he recalls, "you couldn't walk down the street here without seeing dozens of hurt, abused, abandoned dogs. It's heartbreaking. My wife said to me, 'We can't just stand by and ignore this.' "

That was the beginning of a nonprofit called Save a Mexican Mutt (saveamexicanmutt.org), or SAMM for short, which takes in strays and spays or neuters them, socializes them, and tries to place them in good homes. Now the Kargers, who have eight dogs themselves, spend much of their time delivering homeless canines to San Antonio, El Paso, Albuquerque, Denver, and Boulder. Through connections with other rescue groups and directly through the SAMM website, they've so far found homes for about 200 dogs.

NEXT: The Landscape Architect
Last updated June 11 2008: 7:18 AM ET
Staying power Even in an uncertain economy, your best people always have options. How do you hold on to the talent you need? Fortune looks at how four companies keep employee turnover low. (more)
Fortune 40: Stocks to retire onOur trademark long-term portfolio can help put you on the road to a secure future. (more)
Ultimate mutual fund portfolio If you crave diversification, stability, and results - but you'd rather leave the hard work to a savvy pro - this collection is for you. (more)